Returning to school

Many people find that returning to studies or work after the death of someone special is quite a hard thing to do even if a part of them just wants to get back to their usual routines.

When you are ready to return to your studies or workplace arrange a meeting with your tutor or boss. You may want to talk to them about how they can best support you at this time and how you would like others to be told about what has happened.

Sometimes others may forget that you might be finding things especially hard and things may happen, or others may say something or act in a certain way which makes you feel upset. Try and tell someone you trust if this happens.

Sarah Darwen, whose Dad died  shares her thoughts:

“Some people find they need more time than others before they are ready to go back to school. You may prefer to get back as soon as possible or would like to have a little time to get yourself together. Don’t feel guilty abouthaving time off. Giving yourself extra hassle is pointless. Exams can be taken again, but your life can’t. Remember, everyone is different, so do whatever feels right for you. It may be a good idea to make sure all your teachers know (if you are comfortable with that), so that they will understand if you seem a bit quiet or upset. Have a word (or ask someone else to) with your Form Teacher or Head of Year and they will pass it on to the rest of the staff. If you are finding if difficult to cope with your work load as well as your grief, chat to your teachers and explain your situation. They should understand your problem and you can work together to reach a solution.”

Starting somewhere new……

When someone dies it may mean many changes in your life, this could mean starting at a new school, college or workplace. This will mean adjusting to a new environment and new people. Going to University may mean moving to a new town or city, away from your home, family and friends.

Lydia’s Mum died when she was 16, she recently started University. > Read about her experience

Find out about support available to you before you start somewhere new. It may be useful to meet with your new tutor or boss to let them know about what has happened and how they can best support you.

If how you are feeling is affecting your studies or your work……

Your studies or work may feel completely irrelevant and no longer important to you now. You may keep being late, skip classes or decide not to turn up. Or, you may find yourself overloading yourself in work as a way to block out the painful feelings. You may end up reaching breaking point. Schools, Colleges, University and workplaces can be very supportive, try letting someone know that you feel you are not coping.

We can help the people around you to support you.

If you are in education, your school, college or university may wish to have a look at the training and resources Child Bereavement UK provides so that they can better meet your needs. If you are working, you or your employer can call our Helpline on 0800 02 888 40 or email us.

> Support and information for schools

> Training for teaching professionals

> Coronavirus – supporting pupils